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Nothing bad ever happens in Port Jackson, Washington is what everyone would say. That was until Emma Brooks went missing at the tender age of sixteen. A back to school party went wrong people who were there would say. Some would even say she overdosed and someone hid her body because she couldn't take the heat of her mother wanting her to be perfect at everything. Others would say her best friends did it because they were tired of living in her shadow. Maybe they did do it. Sophia, Chloe, Parker, and Paisley all together know what happened that night, but they don't know that yet. After all how long could you stand to be perfect?

Mystery / Drama
Mikaela Charlton
Age Rating:

The Beginning Before The Beginning

“Isn’t this fun!” Emma yelled over the thumping bass that rattled the floors and the neighbor’s windows. The girls went to Grant Lodge’s back to school party that he held every year since his parents felt like he was old enough to stay home alone while they were away on business.

“Look Emma it’s getting late and we have our first day of school tomorrow!” Chloe yelled back to her to which Emma rolled her eyes and got down off of the table that she was dancing on.

“Don’t be a buzz kill.” Emma had said and crossed her arms over her chest then bumped her shoulder against Chloe’s as she walked away and to the makeshift dance floor that was in the living room.

“Don’t listen to her Chloe,” Paisley whispered in her ear while keeping an eye on Emma. The girls didn’t have the nerve to stand up to Emma and they didn’t have the nerve to drop her as a friend either. When the Emma Brooks accepted you, the whole school accepted you. That means that the girls got invited to every party, every boating adventure, every hangout, and they even got to sit at the popular table.

“Why are we friends with her again?” Parker had asked which made the girls look at her crazy. Emma wasn’t Parker’s number one fan and Parker had her reasons for not liking Emma as the others did. They were constantly at each other’s throats, disagreeing on things and trying to beat each other for that top class rank.

“Isn’t it obvious Parker?” Sophia quirked an eyebrow at her and looked at her sideways. If Parker didn’t know any better, she thought Sophia was trying to become the next Emma Brooks.

“I know those reasons, but is there anything else keeping us from dropping her?” Parker had slung her arm around Chloe who wrapped her arm around her waist. Chloe and Parker were the closer two of the group, but it could be from their moms getting married after years of dating after they both divorced their husbands for each other.

“How about she could make our lives a living hell?” Paisley had replied and turned to walk to the back yard where it was quieter and where most people only went to smoke weed.

They were all sitting in the hammock at the edge of the property line before it hits the trail that leads you down to Lodge’s cabin by the beach. That’s where Grant took most of his conquests for the night after his parties had diminished and the only people that were left were the ones who couldn’t hold their liquor or the stoner’s who passed out after smoking too much. The next morning when people drove past the ginormous home that everyone knew, bodies littered the grass along with cups, clothes and the occasional puke on the lawn. Somehow Grant always had it cleaned up before his parents ever got home and his parents would think that he’s the picture-perfect son that they had raised him to be.

“Look I didn’t bust my ass to get you into this party for you guys to just sit out here.” Emma had walked out to where they were. She had her hip cocked to one side, hands on her hip and head tilted to one side while giving you a look that made you look like a coward. It was the pose that everyone knew because Emma used it all of the time. Emma was every guy’s dream girlfriend and every girl dreamed to be like her. Her perfectly portioned body, her perfect blonde hair that the girls always thought was dyed, perfectly manicured nails, and her makeup was perfect and didn’t have too much or too little. Emma was perfect all around, but that could be the doing of her mother who thought everything in life had to be perfect.

“We’re just not in the mood Emma.” Chloe had replied to which Emma rolled her eyes and stomped away like the spoiled brat she was. Sophia, Chloe, Parker, and Paisley wanted to stay home or go see the movie that Emma had told them that they were seeing. Emma always lied, to her parents, to the girls, and to the school faculty. Emma lied so much, she even didn’t know what was the truth and what was the lie. The girls knew that if something were to happen, that they were all going to be in trouble for lying to their parents.

When Paisley checked her phone for the time, they all gasped at the time. One in the morning is what the screen read. Paisley even locked it and unlocked it just to be sure that she was reading it correctly.

“If our parents find out, we are all so dead,” Paisley stated who’s parents were strict even though she never did anything wrong.

“Guys, Emma might be our friend, but we don’t have to stay here.” Parker had said as she stood up from the hammock. The others followed suit and walked to her car. Emma had her car here, which she always dropped her car off at Grant’s house and then walked the two blocks back to her house then later she would drive one of their cars to the party so that she could always be in control of what they were doing.

“What about Emma? Chloe had asked to which Parker rolled her eyes and walked around the house and to the parking lot.

“She’s a big girl who can take care of herself,” Parker stated unlocking her car and getting in the driver’s seat. Chloe hesitated but got in the passenger’s seat while Sophia and Paisley got in the back. Parker dropped the two girls off at their houses and drove home with a nervous Chloe sitting next to her.

“Chloe, she’ll be fine,” Parker reassured her and Chloe stopped picking at her nails. Parker pulled up to their house and parked her car where she always did.

“We have to be quiet when we go inside.” Chloe got out and pulled out the house key and they both made their way up the cobblestone walkway and to their front door. She quietly unlocked the door and they both made their way into the house and upstairs to get ready for bed.

The next morning all of them woke up to a frantic phone call from Emma’s mom. Emma’s car was in the driveway, but there was no sign of her anywhere. Her bed didn’t look like it’s been slept in and the clothes that she was wearing last night weren’t in the dirty laundry. That morning the girls didn’t make it to their first day of sophomore year, but to the police station to be questioned about what really happened that night. They told them that they went to see the movie as they had planned to. What the girls wanted to know was. Who drove Emma’s car home? What happened after they had left the party?

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Katie: I couldnt put this down . I could visualize every scene that you layed out beautifully,and you kept me wanting more . Thank you for the experience 🌻

Jacqueline Lagasse: Loving this book so far

katiehines1998: I absolutely adored this story. It was cute and funny and I couldn’t put it down! Props the the writer for such an amazing short story.

Kimaya Ukidave Pawar: Mafia is the word having its both sides

jessicaperawiti47: I couldn’t “put this book down” it’s great, just enough drama, just enough emotion. Everything I look for in a book. 10/10 loved and will be reading more of your other books.

indianspirit: Really a great book can't wait for the ending too bad is short I like like 39 chapters like that but anyway is still a really good look thank you for your time and effort Arthur

nightprowler87: I love the writing.the story line is excellent.

yo mama: So inventive and unique: truly a great read. This is a wonderfully slow burn. Even though I'm only half way thru the book right now, it's one of my favorites I've read here. I envy her creative genius.Lastly, only a few typos, which is great.

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luckybean13: I think I enjoyed this book the most so far although I kind of figured what was going to happen by glancing over the synopsis’ of the other books. There is so much suspense as items are revealed. Little nuggets of information dropped here and there making the need to read on a must. Well done,...

grasseshelby: The storyline was great. Wish it had not jumped around so fast.The characters were good but didn’t take time to develop them. Will there be a #2. And finish the story about her little girl.

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Gracie Arzola: I loved it just wish i could read it all thru here and not have to be running into trouble to read it.Thank you so very much and hope to read more interesting stories from you.

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